Environmental Quality Commission 2014 Awards

The Kentucky Environmental Quality Commission today presented its annual Earth Day awards to individuals and groups who have made significant contributions to the environment. This year’s event took place at the Berry Hill Mansion in Frankfort. To learn more, visit http://eqc.ky.gov. Recipients are as follows:

  • In an effort to clean up Floyds Fork, located in north central Kentucky, Teena Halbig and Sheron Lear formed the Floyds Fork Environmental Association.
  • By founding a sustainability committee in local government and starting a website called Green Triangle, Louisville’s District 9 Councilwoman Tina Ward-Pugh leads the way in green thinking.
  • The Green Institute, Louisville, provides a 12-week course for business and community leaders. The homework results in community projects such as creating rain gardens; fixing downspout disconnections; planting trees to reduce the heat island effect; and developing a neighborhood weatherization squad among many other noteworthy projects. The institute is operated by the Center for Neighborhoods, directed by Lisa Dettlinger and Ben Evans.
  • With a degree in soil science from the University of Kentucky, Leslie Preston Meredith teaches science and social studies at West Hardin Middle School in Cecilia, Ky., and runs the school’s Green Club.
  • As state director of The Nature Conservancy of Kentucky, Terry Cook is known for forging partnerships and raising funds for the conservation of natural areas across the state.
  • The Bluegrass Youth Sustainability Council is made up of environmentally conscience high school student leaders from both private and public schools in Lexington.
  • As a National Board Certified Teacher in biological sciences, Karin Ceralde teaches advanced placement courses to students at Shelby County High School. Her students participate every year in the citizen-science project called the Great Backyard Bird Count in collaboration with the National Audubon Society. Its purpose is to collect data on wild birds, to create a real-time snapshot of bird populations, to learn more about how the birds are doing and how to protect them and the environment we share.
  • The DuPont-Louisville Works Plant, located in West Louisville’s Rubbertown area, is the world’s only supplier of Vinyl Fluoride (VF), a chemical used in the manufacture of solar panels. In an effort to produce VF more efficiently while reducing the plant’s environmental footprint, DuPont introduced a new process in early 2012 to reduce the amount of hazardous waste generated by the manufacturing process.  In addition to reducing the quantity of hazardous waste generated, the project improved safety performance by eliminating potential occupational health exposure to employees working with the material.
  • The Public Service award went to Kurt Mason with the Natural Resources Conservation Service. Cleaning up a watershed is no easy feat, but that is what Mason has pledged to do in focusing attention on Beargrass Creek in Louisville. An advocate for land preservation and environmental education, he uses his expertise in the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service to zero in on reducing harmful runoff.
  • The Lifetime Achievement award recipient is Gordon Garner, a civil engineer from Louisville. Improved sanitation leads to improved public health. That’s why civil engineer Garner has devoted a 32-year career to the engineering and design of public works for the benefit of the general public.

Responsible Recycling Event NEEDS VOLUNTEERS

The 9th District and the Energy Pros are holding a One Stop Drop Responsible Recycling Event on Saturday, May 10th from 9:00 am to 12:30 pm at Louisville Water Tower Park, home of the WaterWorks Museum, 3005 River Road. This drive-thru event is FREE.  While sponsored by District 9, any citizen in Louisville may participate at this FREE event. Businesses may not drop off items at this event. We will be accepting a multitude of items to be reused or recycled. We are working on a complete list of what will be accepted, which will be posted in the next few weeks. Click here to view a flyer for the event.

We are looking for volunteers to help direct traffic and collect donations.  If you are interested in volunteering please call 574-1109 or email Kyle Ethridge.

Bike Valet Parking at Thunder

bike parkingThe Kentucky Derby Festival and Bike Louisville have teamed to up provide free Bike Valet Parking during this year’s Thunder Over Louisville event. The bicycle parking facility will open at noon the day of Thunder Over Louisville, Saturday, April 12, and close at 11 P.M.

Just ride to Witherspoon Street and look for the bicycle parking area directly behind Slugger Field (see map).

Need to find a safe biking route? Just use this cool online bike routing tool!

How does it work? Ride to Thunder and just check in your bike, get a wristband at the booth and return with your wristband to retrieve your bicycle. Volunteers will record your name, bicycle type (brand name) and color of your bicycle. It’s a free service, sponsored by Louisville Metro to make Louisville more bike friendly!

If you’re interested in volunteering, please sign-up using this GoogleDoc: http://tinyurl.com/B4L-Thunder

Traffic Circles on Nanz Avenue for Safety and Sustainability

Traffic Circle Councilwoman Tina Ward-Pugh (D-9) has announced she is allocating $9,000 District 9 CIF for a pilot project to construct two traffic circles: one where Nanz intersects with Iola Road and the other at Nanz and Macon Avenue.  This green infrastructure is in cooperation with the City of St. Matthews.        

The residential traffic circle is designed to be just large enough to force the motorist to travel beyond the adjacent curb line, which ensures a lower appropriate speed for navigating the intersection, but not necessarily a full stop, thus improving safety and reducing carbon emissions. 

“Traffic circles have proven to be effective for reducing speeding in our neighborhoods,” said Ward-Pugh. “Traffic circles can also bring a burst of scenic beauty to an area for a relativity small amount of money.”

 Traffic Circles are raised islands which are placed in the intersection and thereby slowing cars down to circulate around the island. It also allows a better thoroughfare for cyclists who wish to access Seneca Park and then move on to Cherokee Park. 

 “The City of Seattle has found traffic islands have decreased the amount of traffic accidents in areas where they were placed,” said Ward-Pugh. “The city also saw a decrease in speeding as a result.”

The Appropriations NDF / CIF Committee gave its approval to the idea on Wednesday.

The Councilwoman says the next step will be to let residents in the area know about the proposed change.

Louisville’s Drinking Water is Safe

From the Louisville Water Company
Louisville Water Handles the MCHM contaminant with Advanced Treatment

Louisville Water expects the plume of the MCHM chemical that spilled into the Elk River last Thursday to pass through Louisville Friday morning. This incident does not pose a health concern and will not impact the quality of Louisville’s drinking water. The plume will pass quickly through Louisville – in about 24 hours – at levels of between 5 and 20 parts per billion (ppb) in the Ohio River. However, Louisville’s drinking water should contain no detectable traces of MCHM.

Louisville Water scientists have worked closely with the Ohio River Valley Water and Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO) throughout the week to analyze samples. The levels of MCHM have continued to drop as the plume traveled downriver – – from 375 ppb where the Kanawha River joins the Ohio River to 14 ppb near Cincinnati. This morning, communication officials at the Center for Disease Controls confirm that our drinking water is safe – with levels of MCHM below 50 parts per billion considered not a public health risk. Again, Louisville’s drinking water should contain no detectable levels of MCHM.

Louisville Water is well-equipped to handle this type of incident through two treatment processes:
1. First, using groundwater as a source with the Riverbank Filtration project at the BE Payne Plant. This one-of-a-kind project in the world uses a tunnel and well system as a natural filter. This treatment system is a “green approach” and naturally filters water moving into the ground.
2. Second, at the Crescent Hill Filtration Plant, Louisville Water will use carbon to remove the contaminant. This type of treatment can be routinely used to handle taste and odor issues.
Louisville Water customers will not see any changes in the quality of their drinking water nor should they notice any changes in the taste of their drinking water. The treatment strategy in this instance is similar to how Louisville Water deals with other taste and odor issues.

Recycle Handheld Electronics

Recycle ElectronicsIf you received new electronics during the holidays, and are looking to dispose of your old electronics  in a sustainable way, the Green Triangle and Eco-Cell have a green option for you!

Recycle your old handheld electronics through Eco-Cell with three drop off locations in the 9th District.  Eco-Cell will resell the electronics if possible, and if not, they will be recycled in an ethical way.  Rest assured that Eco-Cell has a no landfill policy.  Drop off locations are listed below:

For each item recycled, the Green Triangle will receive funds for green projects in District 9.  Learn more here.

ECO-CELL

Curbside and Drop-off Christmas Tree Recycling Available

Metro Solid Waste Management Services (SWMS) will again this year offer curbside pickup of Christmas Trees to residents of the Urban Services District (the old City of Louisville boundaries). Beginning Thursday, December 26, residents with City curbside yard waste pickup may set their Christmas trees and greenery out on their regular collection day.

Drop-off sites will also be available for all Louisville residents at three locations. Two of the three drop-off sites will also instantly recycle trees in to mulch that will be offered back to citizens for home use.

Those wishing to receive mulch must bring an appropriate container in which to carry it. For every five trees recycled, approximately 35 pounds of mulch can be created and used to help new plant and tree growth. This mulch performs particularly well for acid-loving plants such as azaleas and rhododendrons. Trees picked up from curbside will also be recycled but not offered as mulch.

Louisville residents outside the Urban Services District who are interested in curbside pickup should check with their private waste haulers to see whether and when tree pickup is available.

Christmas tree vendors may recycle their unsold trees on Thursday, December 26 ONLY, and only at the Hubbard’s Lane site.

DROP OFF LOCATIONS

  • East District Recycling Center, 595 N. Hubbards Lane
  • Southwest Government Center, 7219 Dixie Highway
  • Waste Reduction Center – 636 Meriwether Avenue (Tree drop-off only. Mulch is not available at this location.)

DATES

  • December 26, 27 and 28th
  • January 2, 3 and 4th

TIME

  • 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Snow and Ice Removal

snowWith our recent snow in Louisville, I thought it would be a good time to investigate options for snow and ice removal.  There is an ordinance in Metro Louisville requiring the owners or occupants of homes and buildings to remove snow on the sidewalk in front of their property within 24 hours of a snowfall.  While this is the ordinance, it is important to remember that some residents are unable to shovel their walks. So let’s look out for our neighbors and take snowy weather as an opportunity to build community through reaching out to help others. 

The greenest way to remove snow is to shovel it by hand before it ices over.  Sometimes this is impossible to do and people often turn to salt.

Using salt to melt snow or ice has its drawbacks:

  • Salt can kill vegetation
  • Salt can leach heavy metals, polluting the groundwater supply and local streams
  • Runoff with salt can increase salinity in waterways
  • Excess salt builds up in soils
  • Salt can cause corrosion of vehicles, lessening the life and sustainability of a vehicle

If you must use salt, follow the directions for how much salt to use and do not over-salt.  Some salts are better than others from an environmental perspective.  Magnesium chloride is less corrosive and toxic than sodium chloride, which is typically used for melting snow.  Read ingredients on salt bags and try to purchase magnesium chloride if you must use salt.  Find more information here.

2014 Bike Kick-Off Event

Bike MeetingFrom Bike Louisville: The bike movement in Louisville is gaining steam!  To kick-off 2014 we’re assembling some of its key contributors to talk about its progress and important steps ahead.  Here are the details:

What: The 2014 Bike Kick-Off
When: Wednesday, January 8th (5:30-7:30)
Where: Clifton Center, (2117 Payne Street, Louisville, KY 40206)

We’re looking to promote networking, inspire action, and coordinate efforts among the people excited about improving conditions for bicycling in Louisville.  Doors open at 5:30 pm, with presentations beginning at 6:00 and lasting roughly an hour.  Light snacks and beverages will be available.  After the presentations, we invite you to stick around to chat with others and meet with bike advocacy groups from around the region.

All Call for Sustainability Groups

On Thursday, December 12, 2013 the Louisville Metro Sustainability Committee hosted the second annual All Call for Sustainability Groups. Committee chair Councilwoman Tina Ward-Pugh asked for sustainability organizations and businesses to present for two minutes each about their work and offerings. Eighteen groups and businesses answered this call and presented at the meeting.  See a list of the groups and businesses with a description of each by clicking on the following link: 12.12.13 Sustainability Handout.  See a list of the groups and businesses that appeared at the Sustainability All Call in 2012: 12.6.12 Sustainability Handout.

The goal of the meeting was to introduce the community to innovative, inspiring, creative people and initiatives related to sustainability. 

Watch a video of the meeting here, or find when it will appear on MetroTV here.